Audio-Technica In-Ear only Headphones - Black Reviews
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Audio-Technica In-Ear only Headphones - Black

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Just OK.....not overly impressed

Sep 26, 2010 (Updated Jan 10, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Small, compact, easy to transport

Cons:Sound is marginally acceptable, cancellation not very effective, overpriced

The Bottom Line: Overpriced, lower sound quality and marginal sound cancellation.  Buy another brand or go with full headphones.


The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC3 Headphones (actually, they are earphones) are....just ok.  Not bad, but not anything more than a simple ok. 

I purchased these after owning the ATH-ANC27 over the ear headphones (written about separately) - I was so impressed with the over-the-ear noise cancellation headphones that I wanted a smaller easier-to-transport version with sound cancellation.  As the other model from Audio-Technica was so good, why not?  So...I tried these.  Disappointing.

Start at the beginning.  The Audio-Technica ATH-ANC3 ear/headphones come in two colors, white or black.  They come in a small well designed black zipper case which has four small web-type compartments, a set of different sized ear sponges to fit over the actual earphones.  One AAA battery goes inside the sound cancellation unit.  A slide switch to turn the unit on; a red light shows that the unit is on and doubles as your battery indicator.  A "monitor" button allows you to interrupt the sound cancellation to be able to hear normally when necessary (cabin announcements).  An extra connector/extension wire is included if you need a longer connection length to the sound input.   The connection is via a single mini-prong stereo; a two-prong adaptor is included for those airlines using the two prong socket.

Assembly is minor - you have to decide which of the "sponges" to use for your ear, push them onto the actual phone, insert the battery, slide the switch to "on" (red light), connect to your sound source, insert the phones to your ears et voila. 

OK....time for reality.  The sound cancellation aspect is fine...it does what it should do.  The weakness to the phones are that they really don't fit within the ear with a good seal.  Lots of external sound gets through.    Sound quality:  I have to give these a marginal, particularly on the low frequency end.  I have a pair of normal earphones, also by Audio-Technica - a low end set.  Comparing the sound quality of the ATH-ANC3 vs the low end version....about the same.  

The slide switch has a habit of moving all too easily either "on" or "off"; the inadvertant movement to "on" after I put the phones back in the case meant that the battery was dead two days later. 

Assuming you do buy these, get the version in black as the white shows dirt and smudges all too easily. 

10 January 2012 update:  Durability: the belt/pocket spring clip assembly broke.   Not an overly durable nor correctly designed clip unit.  

Final verdict:  overrated and certainly not worth the $160 I paid.


Recommend this product? No


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